Sur 3: Esther McCoy: The Mexican YearsRodrigo Ortiz Monasterio and Jesi Khadivi
EditorsGuayaba Press and Bom Dia Boa Tarde Boa Noite, 2016
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
This publication begins with the life and work of writer and architectural critic Esther McCoy (1904–1989). McCoy is best known as an early critique of modern architecture, following publication of her book Five California Architects, in which she opened up a dialogue about what was happening architecturally in Southern California. In 1945, the writer and her husband took up residence in the city of Cuernavaca for eight months, during which they found an interest in popular crafts and pre-Columbian architecture. Yet little has been written and researched about McCoy's relationship with Mexico. Sur 3 takes as its starting point the connections between McCoy and Mexico: moments from her personal life, her political and artistic acquaintances, her writings while in Mexico, and the relationships the writer started with some of the most emblematic figures of modern Mexican history.
Rodrigo Ortiz Monasterio is a writer, curator, and founder of Guayaba Press. He received an MA in curatorial practice from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. His practice focuses primarily on expressions of modernism in Latin America and on printed matter such as artists' books, publications on architecture, and archives. Alongside Kristina Lee Podesva, he is coeditor of the book Tradition versus Modernity (2013).
Jesi Khadivi is an independent curator, writer, and editor based in Berlin. She is editor-at-large of the bilingual journal Sur. Sur is premised on the aesthetics of encounter, specifically between the writing, art, and ideas expressed in Mexican culture in relation to discourses and philosophies generated elsewhere. Khadivi is currently working on the multi-platform research project Bad'e Saba, which she will further develop with the support of the Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht. The project examines the metaphoric use of wind and sand in Iranian art, poetry, film, and propaganda as a corollary for thinking through the rich and enduring Arab, African, and Indian presence in Iran, particularly in the Khuzestan region, and how wind was used to both develop and undermine transnationalism in the Middle East. Khadivi has curated exhibitions and participated in public programs with the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; the Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco; carlier l gebauer, Berlin; and Golden Parachutes, Berlin, among others. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Fillip, Flash Art, Kaleidoscope, Ibraaz, Esse, and the Brooklyn Rail.
Terrence McGower is an artist based between New York, France, and Mexico City. A desire to reexamine the notion of progress—a term corrupted by the excesses of technological modernism—runs throughout Gower´s practice. His works are dialogues between architecture and art, investigating the ideas of form, modernity, abstraction, and the artist's persona. Gower works in a variety of media including video, sculpture, drawing, installation, and architecture. He engages a number of bodies of work concurrently, often in development for a number of years. Many of his recent projects have been what Gower calls "curatorial installations," combining video, sculpture, artworks by other artists, and archival material in large museum installations that offer the viewer distinct access points to the subject under study. His work on the modern movement in Mexico was the subject of a major solo exhibition, Ciudad Moderna, at the Laboratorio Arte Alameda in 2005. His solo exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC (2009), treated the history of that institution. Gower has built four pavilions: the Bicycle Pavilion for the Colección Jumex, Mexico City; the Projection Pavilion for Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City; the Workshop Pavilion for MUSAC, León, Spain; and SuperPuesto for the Bronx Museum, in New York. A new public commission from the New York School Construction Authority, was recently installed in Queens, New York, and a major new commission from the Region Rhône-Alpes will be inaugurated in Saint-Genis Pouilly, France, in spring 2017. There are currently two monographs on Gower's work: Ciudad Moderna: Terence Gower Videos (Turner Press, Mexico City, 2006) and Display Architecture: Terence Gower Pavilions (Navado Press, Berlin, 2008). Gower's artwork has been featured in the Between Walls and Windows: Architektur und Ideologie (Hatje Cantz/HKW), The Air Is Blue (Trilce), Revisiting the Glass House (Yale University Press), Heimat Moderne (Galerie für Zeitgennössisches Kunst, Leipzig), and Made in Mexico (ICA, Boston).
Pia Rönicke lives and works in Copenhagen. Rönicke's videos are collages of heterogeneous sounds and images, offering up a commentary on urban structure and the modernist conception of the city and its environment. Like samplings, these videos designate and underscore points as film music, photos, comics, images from magazines, and Rönicke’s own drawings of cityscapes and gardens. This film work should be read as a permanently evolving composition, in which each part is at once autonomous and constitutes a global narrative on the space of living, the relation between nature and culture, and architecture as camouflage. While re-visiting the experiments of the 1920s and the critical montage tradition of the 1960s and 1970s, Rönicke's work at the same time articulates highly contemporary questions.
Jill Magid is an artist based in New York. Her work is deeply ingrained in her lived experience, exploring and blurring the boundaries between art and life. Through her performance-based practice, Magid has initiated intimate relations with a number of organizations and structures of authority. She explores the emotional, philosophical, and legal tensions between the individual and “protective” institutions, such as intelligence agencies or the police. To work alongside or within large organizations, Magid makes use of institutional quirks, systemic loopholes that allow her to make contact with people “on the inside.” Her work tends to be characterized by the dynamics of seduction, with the resulting narratives often taking the form of a love story. It is typical of Magid's practice that she follows the rules of engagement with an institution to the letter—sometimes to the point of absurdity. With solo exhibitions at institutions around the world, including the Tate Modern, London; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Berkeley Museum of Art, California; the Tate Liverpool; the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; Yvon Lambert, Paris and New York; Gagosian Gallery, New York; and the Security and Intelligence Agency of the Netherlands, Magid has received awards from the Fonds Voor Beeldende Kunsten and the Netherland-American Foundation Fellowship Fulbright Grant. Magid has participated in the Liverpool, Bucharest, Singapore, Incheon, Gothenburg, and Performa Biennials. She is an associate of the Art, Design and the Public Domain Program in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and a 2013–15 Fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. An adjunct teacher at the Cooper Union, Magid is also the author of four novellas. Her works are included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Fundacion Jumex, and the Walker Art Center, among others.
Leonor Antunes lives and works in Berlin. Measurement, material, memory, and site are the key ingredients of Antunes's elegantly minimal sculptural installations. For assembled, moved, re-arranged and scrapped continuously, her first solo exhibition at Marc Foxx Gallery in Los Angeles, the Berlin-based artist visited and studied several important architectural sites in São Paulo, Brazil; Turin, Italy; and Porto, Portugal. She then translated her research—and the measurements she took at each site—into a series of floor, wall, hanging, and standing works that create new spaces within the gallery. By mining the details of the places she has visited, Antunes extends and extracts their architectural components, rethinking and reconfiguring their formal elements, changing and collapsing them to make new and magical spaces. Antunes has forthcoming solo exhibitions at SFMoMA; the High Line, New York; Tenstha Kunsthal, Stockholm; Kiosk, Ghent; and CAPC, Bordeaux.
Angie Keefer is a writer, artist, editor, and amateur engineer. She graduated from Yale University in 1999. Along with Dexter Sinister, she is cofounder of the Serving Library, a nonprofit artists' organization dedicated to publishing and archiving in a continuous loop; and coeditor of The Bulletins, the Serving Library's bi-annual publication. Her talks have been staged recently at Yale University, the São Paulo Biennial, the MoMA in New York, Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, and Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp
Santiago da Silva is a graphic designer whose work focuses on developing books, publications, and printed matter in collaboration with artistic or curatorial positions. His approach to design is rooted in establishing person-to-person dynamics, which give shape to a particular method of working for every project. Between 2011 and 2015, he worked at Studio Manuel Raeder, developing projects in collaboration with artists like Mariana Castillo Deball, Danh Vo, Abraham Cruzvillegas, and Matt Mullican, among others; and for cultural institutions such as the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, the Kunstverein München, and Artists Space, New York. Since 2015, da Silva has run his own studio in Berlin. His current work in progress includes a catalogue for the artist Peter Zimmermann, in conjunction with his exhibition at Museum für Neue Kunst, Freiburg.
Guayaba Press is an independent publishing house and curatorial platform based in Mexico City, founded in 2012. Guayaba Press publishes Sur journal and is committed to the publication of projects in Spanish and English that expand discussions of contemporary art, locally and globally.
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